Friday, March 31, 2017
Is The Religious Left Really On The Rise? If So, Where would It Lead?
Rev. Serene Jones, president of New York's Union Theological Seminary, says " lectures on social justice are drawing crowds three times the size they did prior to the election of Donald Trump."
J. Patrick Hornbeck II, Chairman of the theology department at Fordham University, a Jesuit school, says, "It's one of those dirty little secrets of American politics that there has been a religious Left all along, and it just hasn't done a good job of organizing."
He's right about the religious Left being with us a long time---and perhaps he's right that it is also "a dirty little secret."
Perhaps the "dirty little secret" is about where a Christian Left would lead this country---and will lead an individual.
Reuters News Service said this week, "In January, the 181-year-old Upper Manhattan graduate school, whose architecture evokes London's Westminister Abbey, turned away about 1000 people from a lecture on mass incarceration. In the nine years that Reverend Serene Jones has served as its president, she has never seen such crowds."
Rev. Jones says, "The election of Trump has been a clarion call to progressives in the Protestant and Catholic churches in America to move out of a place of primarily professing progressive policies to really taking action."
Reuters says, "Although not as powerful as the religious right...the religious Left is now slowly coming together as a force in US politics."
They say, "Financial support is also picking up. Donations to the Christian activist group Sojourners [Jim Wallace] have picked up 30 percent since Trump's election."
The news service also says the "key test will be to translate its mobilization into votes in the 2018 midterm election."
Hornbeck told Reuters, "It has taken a crisis, or perceived crisis, like Trump's election to cause folks on the religious Left to really own their religion in the public square."
What does one actually "own" if he or she embraces, or "owns" the beliefs of the Christian Left?
If you go the Christian Left web site you will find that drifting in a sea of Scripture misquotes and misinterpretations, you own a belief that is very foreign to the message of the Bible and the gospel.
It is an evolving theology of relativism that embraces a denial of absolute truth while rejecting biblical teaching on human sexuality and the sanctity of life.
With pride they say:
"We're not about dogma here. We're just Christians who think the political and Christian Right-wing have their priorities wrong."
"Bottom line: We welcome ALL to their place at God's table, just as they are. All means ALL. No exceptions. We reject all attempts to define our faith by two wedge issues of Gay Marriage and Abortion."
It's revealing that the religious Left doesn't want to be defined by abortion and homosexuality, yet define themselves endlessly as "welcoming" to homosexuals and strong believers in "a woman's right" to abortion.
As you read their site, you discover they spend much of their time on these "wedge" issues.
And they deal with abortion on their Facebook page using cartoons, etc.
One post reads "As a child, I went to church with my grandmother, we never heard sermons about abortion and homosexuality. It was all about Jesus. That changed sometime near the election of Ronald Reagan when politicians figured out some people could be 'useful idiots' by dividing us on these issues while we were being shafted behind the scenes. I don't remember one sermon about either subject, ever."
And this: "Many of these same Christians have now turned these two wedge issues into their own personal ego idols. Jesus has been blurred out of the picture."
In the days of this person's grandmother, Jim Wallace and other religious Left leaders were not attempting to mislead the church and twist Scripture in the ways they do today.
The fact that these fundamental truths of Scripture regarding the sanctity of life and human sexuality were not mentioned from the pulpit in grandma's day have most likely led to the beliefs of this generation's grandchildren.
All surveys reflect the failure to teach this "millennial" generation the fundamental truths of Scripture---causing many of them to drop out of church and hold a non-biblical worldview.
The religious Left demonstrates on the site their absolute failure in understanding even the most fundamental teaching of God's Word and the purpose of Christ's coming to earth---the message of Christianity.
They say, with pride and a spirit of rebellion:
"To those who come by the page to lecture us about abortion and gay marriage, please take it somewhere else. Being gay isn't a sin. Abortion isn't a sin. You and your false teachers need to get a grip. Learn the truth. We're moving on. You've dragged Christianity down long enough with your bigoted views and your need to control women. Start with Numbers 5 . In it you will find the description of a Bible sanctioned abortion."
In relation to abortion, the religious Left has produced Bible study materials that they teach sanctions abortion.
In regard to homosexuality, they say, "The Christian Left sometimes differs from other Christian political groups on issues including homosexuality." They explain this is not a difference of religious ideas, but one of focus.
They say their beliefs are "similar to philosophies of expressed by writers such as C.S. Lewis" in that the Christian Left believe "homosexual sex to be overemphasized when compared to with issues relating to social justice, or even matters of sexual morality involving heterosexual sex."
The Christian Left says they "don't get uptight about the same things as their right-wing brothers and sisters. Lefties tend to accept that we're all trapped in the human condition, that we all struggle, and that we're all sinners."
They say the focus should be on behaviors that "Jesus focused on when He was in the body---things like hypocrisy, organized oppression, exorbitant greed, self-righteousness, judgmentalism, selfishness, abuse of power, violence, etc."---using Romans 7:13-25.
In conclusion, they quote Mark Townsend, a leader in the Christian Left.: "It's easier to bow down and shout hallelujahs than to get our own hands dirty by following him [Jesus] out into the world of brokenness and mess."
Paul described such thinking as "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
Biblical Christianity also believes "All are welcome"---"Whosoever will may come"...however, biblical Christianity doesn't define being welcome as merely a seat at the table of compromise for purposes of inclusion and feeling good about one's self.
The biblical "all inclusive welcome" is to the transforming power of a risen Jesus Christ, who did not come to affirm our sins, but to die for them so that we may have eternal life and be forgiven from those sins.
And in forgiveness of our sins through Christ, we would find deliverance, restoration, and life.
Be Informed. Be Faithful. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Right.